For the second straight week, an NFC division leader and Super Bowl hopeful has lost its quarterback. Can the Arizona Cardinals possibly win the conference without Carson Palmer? His absence will affect the team's NFL odds going forward.
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
It quite a whirlwind weekend for Palmer as on Friday he signed a three-year, $50 million contract extension with Arizona. Talk about good timing because in Sunday's 31-14 over the Rams, Palmer suffered the second torn ACL injury of his career. His season is over. Coach Bruce Arians says he believes the Cardinals can win the Super Bowl with backup Drew Stanton. He did step in admirably on Sunday, throwing a 48-yard touchdown pass to rookie John Brown to give Arizona a 17-14 lead that it would never relinquish. Stanton is 4-3 as a starter during his career and 2-1 earlier this season when Palmer was dealing with a nerve problem in his throwing shoulder. Stanton is completing just 49.5 percent of his passes this season, which likely isn't going to be good enough to win many games. And if Stanton gets hurt? HIs backup as of now is rookie Logan Thomas, who wasn't even active Sunday. Arizona opened as a 2-point home favorite on NFL odds for Sunday's big game against NFC North-leading Detroit -- a team Stanton used to play for. In fact, his last regular-season pass before this season was in 2010 with the Lions.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Newton has been experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle all season and now is dealing with a root foot injury. Newton was sacked nine times in Monday night's blowout defeat in Philadelphia and his mobility was clearly limited. He has been hit more than any QB in the NFL this season. Newton will continue to play on the ankle but teams are likely to blitz more in knowing that Newton may not be able to escape the pressure as he would when healthy. Carolina is a 1.5-point home favorite at sportsbooks for Week 11 at home vs. Atlanta.
Branden Albert, LT, Dolphins
Albert was Miami's big offseason free-agent addition but his season is over after he was placed injured reserve Monday. Albert suffered a knee injury in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions, reportedly tears to both his ACL and MCL. It's a big loss because Albert had been playing very well and protects quarterback Ryan Tannehill's blind side. After Albert left vs. Detroit, the team moved first-round pick Ja'Wuan James to left tackle from the right side. It's a quick turnaround week for the Fins as they are 4.5-point favorites on NFL odds for Thursday's game vs. visiting Buffalo -- and the Bills have a very good defensive line.
Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball, RBs, Broncos
Hillman will miss at least two weeks with a mid-foot sprain suffered in Sunday's easy win over Oakland. On the bright side, the Broncos should get back former starting running back Ball this week. He hasn't played since suffering a right groin injury Oct. 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. Ball nearly did against Oakland but Denver decided to hold him out. Hillman had played well enough in Ball's place to likely steal the starting job but that point is moot for now. Denver is -9 on sportsbooks for Week 11 at St. Louis.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants
If New York has any shot of reaching the playoffs at 3-6, it probably has to win out. The Giants haven't had Jennings, their starting tailback, in the past four games due to a knee sprain but he's expected to return in Week 11. Jennings had been off to a great start. In the four games he has missed, with the running game in the hands of rookie Andre Williams, the Giants are averaging 83.3 rushing yards per game and are 0-4 -- losing every game by double digits. New York is a 4.5-point home dog on NFL odds vs. San Francisco.
Arian Foster, RB, Texans
Foster is having a big season, probably better than any other running back other than the Cowboys' DeMarco Murray. Houston was off in Week 10, but Foster was forced to leave a Week 9 loss to Philadelphia with a groin injury. That week off obviously helped and the Texans expect Foster to start in Cleveland. For your NFL picks its worth noting that Houston is a 3-point underdog on NFL betting lines.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears
Chicago has been perhaps the biggest disappointment in the NFL thus far. They were embarrassed on Sunday for the second week in a row, this time by Green Bay. Marshall had a nice game with eight catches for 112 yards and a touchdown but his ankle was twisted in ugly fashion late in the game. He's probably not going to practice much this week, but the team expects him to play in Week 11. The desperate Bears are 3.5-point home favorites vs. Minnesota.